Becoming China's Bitch: And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now

( 7 )

Overview

A Manifesto for the Radical Center

America is frozen. We have failed to face our nation’s most crucial challenges—and we are about to pay the price.

When it comes to solving our country’s problems, we have become utterly paralyzed: bipartisanship has lulled us into a deadlock, preventing us from taking action. Yet we can no longer ignore the inevitable catastrophes or hand them off to Washington to fix—they ...

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Becoming China's Bitch: And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now

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Overview

A Manifesto for the Radical Center

America is frozen. We have failed to face our nation’s most crucial challenges—and we are about to pay the price.

When it comes to solving our country’s problems, we have become utterly paralyzed: bipartisanship has lulled us into a deadlock, preventing us from taking action. Yet we can no longer ignore the inevitable catastrophes or hand them off to Washington to fix—they must be addressed now, or we will suffer the long-term consequences.

In the New York Times bestseller Becoming China’s Bitch, Peter Kiernan presents an unflinching manifesto in which he explores five factors that have sustained our national paralysis, then uncovers the ten challenges that pose the greatest threat to the future of America. Presented from a fresh yet informative Centrist perspective, these ten impending catastrophes include our semiconscious dependency on China, our lack of a centrally coordinated intelligence effort, our downward-spiraling health-care system, and the continually expanding problem of illegal immigration. In a logical, personal, and persuasive voice, Kiernan offers radical yet common-sense solutions to these challenges—solutions that every American must acknowledge and act upon before it’s too late.

With provocative insight and analytical depth, Becoming China’s Bitch is the answer to securing our country’s immediate future and restoring our national soul.
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"In my youth, we were a nation obsessed with the Soviet Union….Where is our paranoia about China?" If it didn't exist already, former Goldman Sachs senior partner Kiernan seems determined to drum it up with laughably dramatic metaphors like " have developed a vampire's taste for the elixir of our economy—oil." In his "manifesto," Kiernan analyzes the reasons behind China's ascension and its potential to overtake the U.S. as the world's primary economic power. As a self-described "Radical Centrist," Kiernan underscores two causes for concern that require America's immediate attention: the growth of China's reserves, and the strength of its currency (the Renminbi, or Yuan). What deeply concerns the author is the U.S.'s lack of a strategy to deal with China once it takes the cap off its currency value. In Part I, Kiernan enumerates five reasons for America's inability to address the potential economic Chinese threat: "the Media Talk Complex," irresponsible political lobbyists, influential and biased think tanks, religious squabbling, and an ineffectual two-party system. In Part II, Kiernan goes on to discuss other challenges America faces, such as the same-sex marriage debate and whether to raise taxes on tobacco.Surprisingly, and despite the hawkish title, Kiernan suggests that the secret weapon to ensure success is not force, but rather an understanding of China. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“Peter Kiernan cut[s] through what he saw as partisan gridlock.”The New York Times

“Ambitious! . . . Peter Kiernan is a badass.” Business Insider

“A rocket-fueled ride . . . very thought provoking.” CNBC Power Lunch

“Peter Kiernan is a tough guy.” —Chris Matthews, Hardball with Chris Matthews

“This is an important book.” —Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe

“Sure to stand out.” Foreign Policy

“Brilliant.” —Dennis Miller, Dennis Miller Radio

“A great read . . . fascinating stuff. Even if you don’t agree with Peter . . . at least it’s an adult conversation—and you don’t get that a lot.” The Roe Conn Show

“[Peter has] laid out so many convincing arguments about the polarization in this country. . . . very compelling.” The Hays Advantage, Bloomberg

“Thought provoking . . . a new concept in this decade.” Sly in the Morning

“Peter Kiernan’s energy is incandescent. Should there ever be a problem . . . they could hook Peter up and get power to light New York.” —Meryl Streep
 

Meryl Streep
“Peter Kiernan’s energy is incandescent. Should there ever be a problem . . . they could hook Peter up and get power to light New York.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781618580054
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 434
  • Sales rank: 525,914
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter D. Kiernan, New York Times bestselling author and former partner at Goldman Sachs, is chairman of his own venture firm and founding Board Member of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. He also serves as an advisor to various corporations, banks, firms, and government officials. A graduate of Darden School at University of Virginia where he earned an MBA, Kiernan has appeared on CNN and The Today Show. He lives in Greenwich, CT.

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Read an Excerpt

Becoming China's Bitch

And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now
By Peter D. Kiernan

Turner

Copyright © 2012 Peter D. Kiernan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781618580054

There are no foregone conclusions.
Except one: If you ignore problems with all your might, you cannot make them evaporate.
Instead problems blossom into full-blown crises. Perversely, we seem to crave them.
The lives of most Americans must be lacking the excitement of the early days—that frisson of fear when our neighborhood had a cholera outbreak or when we played the roulette game of childbirth. We could breathe black air and in our wood-framed, gaslit cities, fret over constant threat of fire.
We run the country as if we crave the calamity of yesteryear—constantly
lurching to the brink. Sometimes we’re able to pull back from the maw,
other times we let problems play out to the level of full-blown catastrophe. Like the burghers of that Vermont town, we’d much rather stand in a room and yell than constructively work toward solutions.
We enjoy scaring ourselves. Brinksmanship in the House is covered like tropical depressions on the Weather Channel. Are we caught in a Category Five hurricane? Or thrilling to a Six? Try watching CNBC’s market storm trackers without holding your breath and grabbing your wallet. Or Fox News without running for the fallout shelter. We’re addicted to every derivative of tsunami though most of us have never seen one. So we manufacture artificial amber alerts—stand-offs like “Debt Ceiling” fiascos that allow politicians to posture and sound concerned. All this scaremongering does is obscure genuine problems, which for many of us is actually kind of nice. It’s how we prefer it.
We have become a frozen tableau of contrasts. We are rich, with poverty rates at all-time highs. Homeownership is higher here than anywhere in the world, and our homelessness keeps breaking records. Almost 40 percent of adults and 20 percent of kids are obese, and more Americans will go without food today than at any time since the framers.
We are frozen in other ways.
    Some call our polarization and inability to unite against problems a crisis in governance. It’s no crisis. It’s a self-inflicted wound.



Continues...

Excerpted from Becoming China's Bitch by Peter D. Kiernan Copyright © 2012 by Peter D. Kiernan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments    xi

Introduction    xiii

Part I: Why Are We Polarized?
Five Factors That Freeze Us from Doing the Right Thing

Factor One
    Genesis: The Shot Heard ’Round the Dial    5

Factor Two
    Democracy Under the Influence (DUI): Lobbyists in the Kitchen    51

Factor Three
    The Ultimate Backstage Pass: Thought-Provoking Think Tanks    71

Factor Four
    Predator or Pray: Wayward Christian Soldiers     85
 
Factor Five
    It’s My Party: The Hijacking of the Two-Party System    107

 Part II: Ten Catastrophes We Must Avoid

Challenge One
    China: A Co-dependency That Is Decoupling    137

Challenge Two
    The Silver Surge: The Aging of America     175

Challenge Three
    Labor Pains: The Devolution of the Labor Movement    191

Challenge Four
    The “M” Word: Same-Sex Marriage    213

Challenge Five
    Being Smart About Intelligence: Terror Firma    225

Challenge Six
    Political Hack: Tobacco Road to Ruin    267

Challenge Seven
    Sick and Tired: Today’s Care, Tomorrow’s Cure    289

Challenge Eight
    In Stir with Love: Education Versus Incarceration    321
 
Challenge Nine
    Dread on Arrival: Homeland Insecurity    349

Challenge Ten
    Crude Awakening: A True Energy Policy    373

Coda: Where Do We Go from Here?    399
Index    405
 

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Couldn't be more valuable in today's polarized political climate

    A book that tackles so many third rails of politics, it practically hums with an electric current. I'm betting it will be called incendiary for being commonsensical and will be anathema to the far left and right--that's how you know it's worth reading!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    At Last, A Balanced Voice of Reason and Urgency

    I found this book to be precisely what we need right now, to avert the ten major calamities towards which we're veering speedily and wrecklessly like a car out of control while the government is paralyzed by extremes of partisanship.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    Read title carefully

    I bought this book thinking it was about CHINA. Nope, look closely at the title, it is one of TEN items, and it is the very least of the book. In my opinion the title was slapped on by the publisher because our reliance on China was in the news a lot at the time, and they thought it would sell the book. Very little is about China. Basically it is the author standing on a pulpit spewing his views on one thing or another. Many of his views and use of bad logic annoyed me. I have to say it was interesting but I felt ripped off as I read it once I realize I have been duped by the title.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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